About Me

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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A girl named Carlos


In Sapporo there is a chain of bars where the girls have bunny girl costumes that show off most of their butts and are also pretty revealing in general. As I understand it, the girls will come and stand at your table and drink with you, and they gain most of their income buy getting paid for each drink you order for them to drink (you pay for your drinks and for theirs).


This chain of bars is called Million, and it is apparently very popular so they have expanded a lot and have many of these bars. They also have very many advertisements in various magazines. Last night I was looking at one of these advertisements while my friend was checking his phone. I noticed that they had printed photos of the butts of the girls presumably working there and written their names (stage names) on playing cards. So there is a "three of clubs" girl showing her butt, for instance.

While there are only 40 girls on each page, they have several duplicated cards even on the same page, but with different girls. This of course also means that there are many cards that are not represented at all, which seems like a strange choice.

When looking closer, there are also some names that makes you wonder who decided that would be a good name for a girl. I would not choose "Shampoo" as a name, but maybe some people think it is cute. "Orangina" and "Calpis" are juices sold in Japan, and if I ever have to suggest a stage name for a female friend, I would not choose either of them. Then we have "Jack", which when hearing I would guess was not a girl, but maybe it is short for something you would call a girl. But then we have "Carlos". What kind of girl is called Carlos?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Foldable and stowable guitars


I was recently showed a guitar that folds and packs small enough so that you can put it in the overhead compartment in the airplane when travelling. The bag also works as a rucksack. The guitar itself was made from carbon fiber, which has some benefits over wood. It is not affected by temperature or humidity, and it can survive rough handling. The guitar works as an acoustic guitar, but also has passive sensors that makes it an electric guitar if you plug it in.








Excellent French food at Hofe


One of my friends and I have been trying to get to a place called Hofe since several months back. It is always full when we try to go there (the place is small). Yesterday we finally managed to get there. The food was great! We ordered way too much food, though.

My friend is moving abroad (again), so it was good that we got to eat there before she leaves. She is really funny, so it will be a bit more boring in Sapporo when she is gone, but we already made plans for where to eat when she moves back to Japan, so at least that is settled.









Hamburgers, hamburgers, hamburgers


One of the guys working in our magic bar has become close friends with a group of guests that visit us from time to time. They always bring large amounts of foods for the staff to eat. It is almost always weird. They used to bring 10 gigantic steamed buns from a place that makes excellent steamed buns. They would bring one that was from one of the many delicious flavors you can choose, and 9 filled with sweet beans... You can eat maybe half of one of these sweet beans filled ones before your mouth completely dries out and you no longer want to see any more food. Getting 9 of them is not that great...

I was sent over to help out at the other magic bar in our chain of two on Saturday, because they were really busy there. When I arrived, this group was there and they told me that I would "probably be very unhappy" when I saw what they had brought. I asked if it was the sweet beans things again, and they laughed with nostalgia about that. They had brought 20 McDonald's hamburgers. Which, considering there are usually only two magicians working there, may be a bit much. Now we were three, but it still felt like too much food.


Not being daunted by eating extreme amounts of hamburgers the night before, I had hamburger for dinner on Sunday too. I went to the place that provided the gigantic hamburger for the bondage event I performed at one week earlier.

Judas Priest will play in my back yard!

Several of my friends independently noticed that Judas Priest is coming to Sapporo. They will in fact hold a concert on the other side of the parking lot in front of the house I live in! I bought a ticket and will go see them on Friday the 13th.

20 meals later

At the end of October I got a meal card that could be used for 20 meals at the Japanese curry place Colombo. They have huge servings, and very good food. I have now managed to finish the meal card, which means I averaged more than one curry serving there per week. Even when factoring in things such as paying for some Swedish friends visiting Sapporo. No wonder my bathroom scale has stopped calling me "fat" and started calling me "very fat" (it has a scale in plain language to help you understand what your weight in kilos means).

More Chocolate


When I visited Ropossa before Valentine's Day, a girl working there said that she would be handing out chocolate on Friday and Saturday. Since I work on Fridays and Saturdays, I cannot come here then, I said. She said she would put one chocolate gift away for me.

When I stopped by Ropossa to have dinner recently, she gave me a Valentine's Day gift that had a name tag with what was reasonably close to my name in Japanese on it. There were some extra lines there that the other Japanese guests thought were funny, and they kept making fun of her the whole evening (for not being able to write Japanese).


I was also given a bottle of sugar, for unclear reasons.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Calories


My annual health check gives me the result "you are fat, you need to lose 10 kg" every year. This week, the school cafeteria has introduced a new dish called "spicy mayo". This was very good, but had enough Calories for two days...

Belly dancing and Turkish food


Yesterday I met the two nurses that I first met in Versailles. They like trying exotic foods, so this time we had Turkish food (last time we had Cuban food). Once or twice per month there is a belly dance show in this restaurant, and yesterday was such a day. The dancer was very good. She balanced a sword on her head (or leg or hip) and still managed to dance around without dropping the sword.

The food is great too.








Boss's birthday

My boss was born the same year my mother was born, and yesterday it was his birthday. The students showed up with a cake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Singing in bunny ears, cool sunglasses, and taking off your pants

Sunglasses and bunny ears. 

Yesterday I stopped by Ropossa to have dinner there. Last time, everyone thought I looked super cool in a pair of sunglasses I bought for 100 yen (1 dollar) and had brought along to use in a magic trick. This time I brought my normal sunglasses instead. Everyone looked cool in them, I was told.


Some time after I arrived, an older Japanese man that also was there the last time I was in Ropossa showed up too. As last time, he ended up sitting next to me. Last time he was very drunk, so he remembered (vaguely) that we had met, but not what we had talked about. He apologized for possibly having been rude to me, but I assured him that he had not been very rude. When he left, he paid too much and did not want any change. They wanted to give him change, though, so he said that he would pay my tab too to apologize for his behavior when he was drunk. Everyone assured him that he had nothing to apologize for, but he ended up paying everything for me anyway.


Later, a singer I have met a few times before also showed up. Some bought some of her CDs when they heard that she was a singer, and then they asked her to sing something to them on the spot. She produced a guitar and sang two songs. She was good, of course. As I understood it, she also writes her own songs (at least the ones she performed and the ones on the CDs).


Later, some guys who produce the TV show where I and the mama of Ropossa did magic also showed up. They also wanted to hear her sing, so she sang two more songs late in the evening too. One of these songs is called "Rabbit", so she produced bunny ears to wear while performing that. She said she always does that. I also noticed that she was doing bunny ears behind my back when people took photos of me in sunglasses.


For some reason, someone also took out a large stack of cards with Japanese proverbs written on them. Proverbs, but with one word in the proverb exchanged for "chinko" (a rude word for penis). These cards are collectibles from the Okinawan omiyage (souvenir cookie) Chinkosuko ("chinsuko" is a famous cookie from Okinawa).


Along those lines, I was also asked to show everyone my underwear, so they could take photos of that. I had a pair of underwear with 粗品 ("a small/trifling gift") and Japanese gift wrapping design on them. This had been requested by the mama of Ropossa, who when I last visited said that I had to show up wearing these pants next time.

Being photographed while showing funny underwear to interested people.

Then she sent photos of me showing my funny underwear to people to everyone, she said. The girl sitting next to me did indeed get the photos sent to her, but I did not get any sent to me. When I pointed this out, the reply was: "I did send them! Hmm, who did I send them too?"... Maybe people could take more care when sending weird photos of me to random strangers... Also, the photos were so blurry that you could not see what my underwear looks like, so the (important) fact that they are funny/joke products is lost on these poor random strangers, and it just looks like some random person is taking off their pants in a bar in front of other random strangers...

Japanese "special deals"


I was looking for a Frixion pen to use as a marker pen (I have Frixion pens to use as normal ballpoint pens) today. Our university coop sells them. You can either buy one pen for 86 yen, or a pack of three for 259 yen. Buying three pens separately costs you 258 yen...

This type of "deal" is not uncommon in Japan. In this case, it happens to be because of the sales tax. The price without tax is 80 for one or 240 for three, but with tax this becomes 86 and 259.

Clever packaging design


Now you can buy a new tea flavor of Pocky (crispy sticks dipped in chocolate). The packaging is done so that if you put a PET bottle of tea next to the box of Pocky, the you get a complete scene. You can get different scenes with different sides of the bottle etc. (the scene to the left in the back is different from the one in the middle of the photo).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Rootstock 2015: bondage, giant hamburgers, magic, pole dance, comedy, and punk

Me and Nasty Cats, a pole dance duo
Yesterday I attended Rootstock 2015. This was a bondage S&M event, with lots of things going on. I was there to do magic. At the previous Rootstock event I was asked to do 30 minutes of magic on the stage, dressed as a zombie. This time I was asked to walk around and do close up magic to people when nothing else in particular was going on. Dressed as a zombie.
The comedian Dama
Sarai Ichimiya, striptease dancer and more
There were many different performances at the event. There were four different bands playing music, mainly punk. They were all very good. There was a funny comedian called Dama. There was a great pole dance team called Nasty Cats that were great. They must be much stronger than I am, despite probably not weighing even half of what I do... They did some incredibly gymnastic things.
I forgot to take a photo with the S-performer Minami Nijimura
The two guys on the left where on stage as M-performers
There was a striptease dancer called Sarai Ichimiya who did all kinds of things (dancing, acting, telling jokes, taking her clothes off, etc.) who was also really good. There were of course also bondage performances. The first one starred a girl I know from non-bondage circumstances too (she is dating a friend of one of my friends, a guy I have known since eight years ago or so). She had some men come up and stage and then tied them up, whipped then until blood came out, kicked them in the groin, bit them really hard, etc. She looked extremely happy all the time and laughed a lot, so she was very entertaining as a performer. Some of the stuff looked way more painful than what I find interesting to look at, though.
Asahi, S-performer and organizer
The M-performer Anzu
The second bondage performance was done by the organizer, the girl who invited me to these events. She tied up another girl, poured melted candle wax on her, whipped her, choked her, lifted her by the hair, etc. More of a serious drama style performance, unlike the first one which was more "let's laugh".
A photo with the pole dance girls again, because they were great
The camera woman documenting the event
I kept running into people that I know. I know pretty much nothing about bondage, but since I performed at one of these events before, lots of people I met there still remember me. They come up to me and say hello in the supermarket, for instance. This time, there were lots of non-bondage things going on too, and many people where there to see one of the bands, for instance. I waved to a guy I know because he is extremely good at doing some things with playing cards, but he just looked confused. I found him again half an hour or so later when there was some down time in the program. When I asked him if he remembered me from when he visited our magic bar, he figured out who I am. I guess the zombie look threw him off. I also met a woman who visits the bar my friend works at. She was there to help with a tattoo shop that sold things (and gave people tattoos on the spot).
After the event was over, there was a party for staff. There there was a special performance where a man put a girl in a big zip-lock plastic bag and then sucked out all the air with something that looked like a vacuum cleaner. And when the girl is about to pass out, you open bag again. I have seen the same man do precisely that at another event where one of my friends was performing.
Zip-lock bag with a girl and quite a lot of air in it.
Zip-lock bag with a girl and no air in it.
Apart from all the performances, there were also people selling things. Food, clothes, toys, sex toys, tattoos, fashion accessories, and more.
Guy selling cyber fashion accessories
Cyber fashion accessories
I bought some food. Two people I know where there selling hamburgers, so I bought one from them. It was excellent. I also bought some meat loaf from another woman. It was great. She gave me some more food for free too. Which was also good.
People selling hamburgers
A giant hamburger (3kg of meat!)
The more normal sized hamburger I bought
Meat loaf
Spicy food
There was a giant hamburger up for sale too. It had 3 kg of meat inside, and the bread had been made to special order from a bakery. It looked way too big for any one person to finish. In the end, no one felt up to the challenge, so at the party after everything was over, it was given to a woman who happened to have her birthday that day. It was of course too big for her too, so it was cut up and shared between many people. I got one (huge) slice, and the hamburger was great!
A very large hamburger used as a birthday cake
Two guys trying to eat their way through the giant hamburger (and failing)
My piece of the hamburger
People also came up to me and gave me things. One woman gave me chocolate because I did some magic for her. Another woman, who I know a little since she is friends with one of the magicians in our magic bar asked me if I can drink alcohol. I said yes. Then she said: "Then I am giving you this drink. I ordered a gin and tonic and it was tastes much worse than I imagined". I am not sure that was a gift to be happy about, but still. A gift is a gift, I guess. The drink tasted more like Moscow mule than gin and tonic, so I guess they made her the wrong drink (and that was why she was unhappy with the taste). There was also a guy who gave me a home made sweet potato dessert that he had made himself.
Chocolate
A glass that never contained gin and tonic
Sweet potato dessert
Apart from people performing, selling, cooking, etc. there were also people there just to watch and have fun. Many of them wanted to take photos together with me. Many of them looked weird, so I also took photos with some of them.
This woman had interesting clothes, but chose a pose that shows almost nothing of that
I liked the girl in the high school uniform and black mask best, and they liked my pull out sign best.
These girls took around 10 photos of me
I have met the guy in the paper bag before (he wore a paper bag at that time too)
Another white faced person. With great contact lenses.
This guy had the strangest clothes of all, and he was just a spectator.
Apparently the person that brought the red apples was not connected to the Snow White, nor to the witch. And those two didn't know each other either. Nice combo set, though.